Baku - There was jubilation in Flamingoes' camp on Monday as the Federal Government delegation to the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup treated the players and officials to a luncheon to mark the country’s 52nd Independence anniversary.
The Chief Mike Umeh-led delegation took the celebration to the Flamingoes' camp at the Hilton Hotel in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan.
Umeh, who is the Vice President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), said his delegation decided to honour the players to encourage them to beat France in their quarter final encounter on Thursday, Oct. 4.
"We want to tell you that Nigerians are expecting so much from you. So, go all out and bring the FIFA cup to Nigeria.
"It is not by accident that we are visiting your camp today. We have come to celebrate Nigeria at 52 and to celebrate you, the flamingoes.
"While we are congratulating you for your qualification for the quarter final of this competition, we want you to go all out and conquer France to move ahead and win the cup.
"On behalf of NFF President Aminu Maigari, whose speech I am delivering, I wish the Flamingoes well," Umeh said.
The Chairman, NFF media sub-committee, Chief Emeka Iyama, said the celebration should motivate the players and give them the impetus to win the championship.
"France is a football nation, but as far as Nigeria is concerned, we don’t care. We have done it before and we will do it again."
Responding, Flamingoes' captain Victoria Aidelomo said the delegation’s visit had brought joy to the players because, "we were thinking that you have left us all alone, but by seeing you now, we know that you have not left us alone".
"Since we started camping in January, we’ve committed this tournament into God’s hands. He has been helping us. He took us from the preliminary stage to the FIFA Women’s World tournament proper.
"We believe that with the prayers of Nigerians back at home, we will win.
"We remember that Nigeria lost at the quarter finals stage of the 2008 edition of this tournament and we don’t want to suffer the same fate that is why we ask Nigerians to join in praying to God to give us the courage to beat France on Thursday.
"But with the type of training given to us by our coaches and the calibre of players we have, we will mark Nigeria’s birthday with France’s defeat, come Thursday."